See, I like how it turned out...it was perhaps TNG's "glimpse" of where the franchise was being carried by DS9...characters who not only have their personal flaws, but who have different opinions about those flaws and "beliefs" than the supposedly open-minded federation. Picard's reactions are clearly indicative of this. In the end, stripping away all the junk about prime directives, chain of command, oaths...the pain Picard feels is reaction to Ro's abandonment of him, not the federation...in truth, by this stage, I think Picard really is suspect himself as to the wisdom coming from Starfleet Command...but he is of the old guard, lock step and true believing...and though Ro admires that and desperately wants Picard's approval, she cannot live for something she doesn't believe in. Ro makes Picard question his own loyalties as much as he questions hers...and that's part of the betrayal he feels...because part of him understands her choice, and it's like a self-inflicted wound. Which in turn leads to a finale where Picard trusts none save his closest friends...the federation was not going to help him in any time period. Get a taste again in First Contact with the Federation keeping the Enterprise away from the fight...and again with "Insurrection" obviously...this, of course, all symptomatic of where the franchise had gone in DS9. I love it...Ro Laren spits in the face of Roddenberry's utopian dream, and waves the middle finger on the way out the door. Picard hates it...but wishes it weren't so poignantly appropriate, and perhaps, wishes he could do the same.